A common thread coming back with an elbow injury leading to a return to the disabled list appears to have hit the St. Louis Cardinals at both of its highest minor league levels this week. The organization needed a series of moves to replace Mitch Harris and Jimmy Reed, two players who missed all of last season.
Harris shelved again
Memphis right-hander Mitch Harris, recovering from "elbow ligament repair surgery," has been placed on the 7-day disabled list. That spurred a ripple effect through the system on Wednesday.
The DL stint of the 31-year old is retroactive to April 17 as he last pitched the night before against Oklahoma City (TEX). The former Navy officer was activated on the 13th and allowed two earned runs over two innings (two games) in the Pacific Coast League.
Herget can stay longer
With Harris landing on the disabled list at Memphis, Kevin Herget received the call to the fill the void left in the bullpen for the Redbirds.
As Springfield’s temporary closer, the right-hander collected two saves, posting a 3.00 ERA over three appearances (six innings). Herget was initially with Memphis for their exhibition with St. Louis before being returned to Springfield for the regular season.
Reed returns to DL
Jimmy Reed, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, officially pitched for the first time since 2015 in his season debut on April 7, a scoreless two-inning outing against Frisco. Since then, the lefty has yielded a combined six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
There is talk that Reed's injury may be an aggravation of the prior condition that required Tommy John, rather than a new injury. His DL stint may be a result of overwork, a source said.
Bray to Double-A
In the corresponding move for Reed, Tyler Bray was called up from Palm Beach to make his Double-A debut.
Bray, a right-handed reliever, had a 3.18 ERA over five games (5 2/3 innings) for the Beach Birds in 2017. He struck out 10 batters and walked only two.
De La Cruz to the beach
To replace Bray on their active roster, the Beach Birds added Steven De La Cruz from extended spring training, De La Cruz, a hard-throwing righty reliever, compiled an 8-1 record with 3.30 ERA last season in the Midwest League with Low-A Peoria.
The Bronx, NY native converted seven saves in 14 chances, racking up 57 strikeouts against 31 free passes through 60 innings in 2017. De La Cruz will not only make his season debut, but his Florida State League introduction as well.
Evans goes to DL
Among the plethora of other moves in the system involves Jacob Evans, who is repeating high-A Palm Beach after a conversion to the bullpen in 2017. The lefty goes to the disabled list for the first time this season, retroactive to April 18.
Evans, 23, sports a 2-1 record with 1.04 ERA through 8 2/3 innings (five games) with the Beach Birds. He also served two different DL stints in 2016.
Sexton to make full season debut
A starter at Rookie level (short-season) Johnson City last summer, Austin Sexton will hop the fence from extended spring and will make his official debut with Palm Beach.
The 22-year old was 0-1 with 3.32 ERA in 2016, putting together a 13-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 19 innings pitched against Appalachian League hitters. Sexton was St. Louis’ 18th rounder last June from Mississippi State.
Correction: Marlins sign ex-Bucs pitcher
We apologize for an error created by MiLB.com. On Wednesday, the "official" website listed the Cardinals as having signed ex-Pirates farmhand Nick Neumann. However, the 25-year old right-handed relief pitcher signed with the Miami Marlins instead and reported to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League rather than their Palm Beach Cardinals neighbor.
One more move ahead
Springfield remains down one player. It appears a replacement is coming into Arkansas for the S-Cards’ road-trip that officially begins with a Thursday game, though the source is unclear. We will update this article when that player is named.
For roster and player information
The team rosters here at The Cardinal Nation are as up-to-date for St. Louis and all four full-season clubs. All EST players remain on one of the short-season clubs based on where they ended 2016. To access these team rosters, click on the words “PROSPECTS” > “MiLB Rosters/Player Pages” underneath The Cardinal Nation site logo.
To see the Cardinals’ entire system by level and position on one page along with every player transaction for every club all year long, check out the newly-refreshed Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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